Meet the Advisory Council for the first Open Call of Indela

Today we present the Advisory Council and International Observer in digital rights that will support the review and selection process of the first Open Call for projects of Indela.

The experts that will make up this panel have extensive experience at a regional level on issues related to the exercise of digital rights in Latin America, such as regulation of telecommunications, defense of human rights, and research on Internet policies, among others.

Who are they?

Adriana Labardini is a lawyer of Escuela Libre de Derecho in Mexico City, with a master’s degree (LLM) from Columbia University in New York. For four and a half years she was Commissioner at the Federal Institute of Telecommunications (IFT), she has an extensive experience defending privacy and initiatives for inclusion & accessibility and for innovation at the regulatory agenda.

Currently, collaborates with Rhizomatica as Board member, promoting community networks and founder of Conectadas a network of women in the ICT industries working for gender equality in Mexico.

Carlos Cortés is researcher on internet policy law degree from Los Andes University, Colombia, Master Studies in ‘Communications and Media Governance’ at the London School of Economics. Cortés has advised international cooperation organizations, was Twitter’s Public Policy manager for Latin America and founded the think-tank Linterna Verde, a consultancy on internet and society issues.

Paulina Gutiérrez is an international human rights lawyer, focused on privacy, intellectual property and the Inter American Human Rights System and an Internet activist. She worked for twelve years working on human rights policy research, human rights violations legal advisory, freedom of expression and gender issues. Former Digital Rights Programme Officer at ARTICLE19 Mexico and Central America Office, where she developed the digital rights agenda. Currently, member of BENETECH’s Human Rights Program Advisory Board.

Ramiro Álvarez Ugarte holds a LLM degree at Columbia Law School, currently he is an Associate Professor of Constitutional Law at the University of Buenos Aires and of Law and Social Change at the University of Palermo in Argentina. He has worked as lawyer at the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights and at the Association for Civil Rights in Argentina.

Besides the four experts that are part of the panel, Guilherme Canela will participate as International Observer.

Guilherme is an Adviser for UNESCO in Communication and Information for Mercosur, Chile and Andean countries and regional coordinator of the Initiative for the Promotion of Democracy and Freedom of Expression in judicial systems in Latin America. He is also Secretary to the Latin America and the Caribbean Regional Committee of the Memory of the World Programme. He has a B.A. in International Relations from the University of Brasília (UnB) and a Master’s Degree on Political Science from the University of São Paulo.

Visit our website and learn how to participate in our first Open Call, follow us on Facebook y Twitter.

Everything you need to know about the first open call for Indela

With the goal of strengthening the digital rights ecosystem in the region, the Initiative for Digital Rights in Latin America (Indela) today launches its first open call to select projects for 2019. Under the strategic leadership of Fundación Avina, Luminate and Open Society Foundations, and with the support of Ford Foundation and the International Development Research Center (IDRC), Indela will invest US $1.5 million between 2019 and 2021.

Through financing, technical assistance and training, Indela seeks to support projects dedicated to the freedom of expression, privacy, and access to information, with a focus on public campaigns, applied research, and advocacy and litigation, on both national and regional scales.

The open call starts today, February 27, and runs through March 31, 2019. Digital rights organizations based in any Latin American country are eligible to participate for funding up to a maximum US $75,000. To begin the process, enter here.

All project proposals will be evaluated by the Organizing Committee, which is made up of representatives from Fundación Avina, Luminate and Open Society Foundations, with input from a panel of digital rights experts. We’ll list the participants soon!

In the event that two or more organizations apply in partnership, only one organization will receive funding, and will be responsible for the distribution of funds to its partners.

To learn more about Indela, visit our website y follow us on Facebook y Twitter.

Indela seeks to strengthen digital rights in Latin America

Today we announce the launch of the Initiative for Digital Rights in Latin America (Indela). Under the strategic leadership of Fundación Avina, Luminate and Open Society Foundations, with support from Ford Foundation and the International Development Research Center (IDRC), Indela is an initiative that will finance, train, and provide support to organizations promoting digital rights in Latin America. Between 2019 and 2021, Indela will make an initial fund of USD $1.5 million available to civil society.

As internet use permeates all of our activities, we are confronted with increasing challenges: misinformation in social networks; the deployment of invasive technologies for official surveillance; the indiscriminate collection of personal data by private platforms; “hacking”, and attacks on information systems and infrastructure.

This is especially important in Latin America, where institutional weaknesses are also reflected in the use of the internet and the adoption of technologies. In many of the region’s countries, the legacy of past authoritarian regimes lingers; others today find themselves under mandates where the freedom of expression and right to protest remain unclear; in yet others, regressive regulatory proposals — often shielded by narratives of national security and the fight against crime — are advanced in areas such as defamation, privacy, and copyright.

Indela’s goal is to understand local contexts and work from within their realities. It will strive to develop the digital rights sector via simple and unified open call and, with the support of local experts, ensure that the digital rights agenda incorporates local interests and concerns. The first open call starts today, February 27 through March 31, 2019, with a per project financing limit of USD $75,000. Click here to learn the requirements and present your project. Follow us on Twitter y Facebook.

The reality of the digital environment in Latin American countries – and the attainment of liberties and rights – is a constant process of dialogue and feedback with the same vision: to build more free and equitable societies.

Why we created the Initiative for Digital Rights in Latin America

When talking about digital rights in Latin America, it’s important to consider the complexity of the issues facing the region. In Mexico, one of the main concerns facing civil society is the abuse of surveillance technologies by the State; in Colombia, the role of digital platforms in crimes such as defamation has become a pressing issue; people in Venezuela face constant obstacles to accessing the internet; in Peru, journalists’ publications have been restricted by the data protection authority; and in Brazil, some social organizations are trying to understand the growing problem of fake news in social media. While these issues have common threads, they have different connotations and relevance for their respective countries. There is no one picture of digital rights in the region.

In this context, we’re pleased to announce the launch of Indela, a new fund that will offer grants and support organizations that promote digital rights in Latin America. Under the strategic direction of Fundación Avina, Luminate, and Open Society Foundations, and with support from the Ford Foundation and the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Indela will launch as a $1.5 million, 3-year fund available to civil society organizations, starting in 2019.

“Today, the strength of democracies relies, to a large extent, on the respect of human rights in the digital environment,” said Hannah Draper of Open Society Foundations. As the use of the internet permeates all our activities, the risks we face to our privacy and security are increasing: misinformation in social media, the deployment of invasive surveillance technologies, the indiscriminate personal data collection by private platforms, hacking, and attacks on information and infrastructure systems.

This is especially important in Latin America, where institutional fragilities are reflected in the use of the internet and in the adoption of new technologies. In many of the region’s countries, the effects of authoritarian regimes still persist; some countries have mandates limiting freedom of expression and the right to protest, and some nations have used national security and “tough on crime” narratives as pretexts to advance regressive regulatory proposals in areas such as defamation, privacy or copyright law.

“Indela will strive for the development of the digital rights sector through simple and unified call for proposals. We will work alongside local experts to ensure that the digital rights agenda incorporates their interests and concerns,” said Gabriela Hadid of Luminate. Through our work, we hope that funding and support to civil society will avoid duplicate responses and will be based on accurate diagnosis and identified needs.

“While we understand that experiences in the Global North can be relevant to addressing Latin America’s challenges, we think it’s essential that the work is built from a local understanding,” added Lucía Abelenda of Fundación Avina. This does not imply that they are isolated problems. The state of the digital environment in Latin American countries—and the protection of digital freedoms and rights—is a widely debated issue with a common vision: to build more free and fair societies.

Visit our website, follow us on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to our newsletter to learn more about the initiative, thematic areas and the application process.

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